TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Canadian miner Goldcorp is spearheading a mining-industry-wide health and safety study with global auditing firm Deloitte & Touche, to deepen the industry’s level of insight into why people do wrong things at work that not only impacts on their colleagues’ safety, but also the outside perception of the company they work for.
Goldcorp senior VP for people and safety Paul Farrow told Mining Weekly Online during this week’s Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada event that it was of critical importance for all miners to strive to maintain the best possible health and safety records for their operations, owing to the damaging effect it had within the organisation itself, and the knock-on effect it could potentially have on the industry as a whole.
Farrow took on the role of senior VP for people and safety in 2012, a new position at Goldcorp, with the goal of integrating its people and safety strategies.
He explained that a faultless safety record was built on creating a positive culture of responsibility among employees and through continuous education.
“Safety is critically important, but people are more important. Safety can only happen through people, and that is what we are trying to achieve through continuous interaction with our employees,” Farrow said.
The study was slated for publication during the second quarter, and would include a review of best practices from across the mining industry.
He emphasised that a good safety record is not just about costing. It translated directly to predictable solid production, as well as the other way around.
“As soon as one sees unstable production, chances become very real for the operation’s safety record to be dismal. ‘Safety measured though production performance’ remains one of the best indications of whether one’s strategies are working,” he said.
Goldcorp’s focus on improving its safety record was delivering results, as its ‘all injury frequency rate’ decreased by 31% and the lost-time injury frequency rate decreased by 14% in 2011. This was, however, despite four deaths on company properties in the same year.
Farrow said people’s habits, behaviours and attitudes influenced safety records and positive motivation and empowerment went a long way to improve safety.
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